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Brandi Carlile: By The Way, I Forgive You Review:

If you are going through a rough time, this music will pick you up.

Josephine Evenson

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The 2018 album, By The Way, I Forgive You, by Brandi Carlile, very much impressed me as Carlile addressed several personal issues in each song. 

Although these songs discuss many hardships, Carlile explains that even though life can be hard, we all still need to stand tall and do what we need to get on with our lives happily. 

Not only do the lyrics say so, but the keys of each song were all played in major scales, which gives the songs a good, positive feel and makes it easy to listen to. Carlile’s intention seems to be that any song with a satisfying sound can also hold a good message — in order to better understand and accept any situation. Almost as though she is saying, so this happened, but is it really the worst?

Just learn to forgive, be happy, and move on, you will find that you will feel better in the end.

The opening song, “Every Time I Hear That Song,” indicates that some time may have passed from the end of a romantic relationship, yet some hint of sadness is still present due to a familiar love song that serves as a reminder of that past.

It made me think of a past relationship of my own that did not end well, but over time I was able to forgive and be happy. However, there will be some reminders, especially some love songs that will randomly occur and make me think about what I do not have anymore.

What makes “Every Time I Hear That Song” unique is that it is played in G Major, which gives the song a happy, pleasant sound to both harmony and melody. While Carlile continues to play her other songs in major scales, it makes easy to feel even more sympathetic and hopeful to whomever is facing similar issues in real life.

Other tracks on the album, including, “The Joke,” examine situations in which matter how terribly someone is treated because they are different and how hard it is to express their pain, they are still loved and that those who start the cruelty will get their treatment in the end. “The joke’s on them.”

On “The Mother,” Carlile takes on the role of being a mother while she misses out on many opportunities to live her young life freely with her peers. Yet with this experience, she knows that her child must come first, even if it is hard to let all her young freedom die off. 

The instrumentation throughout was excellent, and sticks with the folk genre Carlile is best known for. Instruments include the twangy sounds of both violin and acoustic guitar that gave most songs the upbeat, vivacious sound that best defines any folk song.  I also adore the use of piano in other songs like “Party For One,” which gave it a softer, laid-back tone as well as instrumental variety within the album for others to cope with during difficult times.

There’s nothing like piano music as a pick-me-up, especially if it’s played in a major scale.

If anyone is going through a rough time, I would highly recommend listening to By The Way, I Forgive You, to help deal with sadness and pain in a healthy way, and know that it is better to feel happy and forgive later on in life.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Josephine Evenson graduated from Western Washington University (WWU) with a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis, along with a Music Minor in 2014. She learned to play Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone and hopes to get back into playing those again one day.  She was involved with many extracurricular band activities in college, including Concert Band and Pep Band, known as the WWU Viking Band at Western. She dreams of writing and publishing her own book series in the near future. Josephine currently living in Spokane, Washington (her hometown).

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